And the “handcreme”, though nice and rich, smells even more deliberately boring. I’m not one for lotions, but I’ve been gardening today–my neighbor (who probably wore some slinky Chanel back in the day, but doesn’t bother with all that silliness now) gave me a Dior sized heap of lily-of-the-valley bulbs–so my knuckles are thirstier than a pumice stone.
I have no idea why Margot Elena thought anyone would want to smell like this. Lollia This Moment is a much better choice–not weird or fusty at all–and the bottle is cuter.
Scintillating strawberry baby powder. Brilliant, with a delicate dissonance that shifts between sparkling floral dust and sweet berry syrup, for hours and hours. Chaotic, with the lure of a candy shaped bar of soap, and easily worn by anyone from age 9 to 90–
–unless if you happened to be in elementary school in 1980. Because this smells exactly like Strawberry Shortcake doll hair.
Here’s another dissonant Insolence that works well:
“Long Covid” is a thing. I’m getting better, just more slowly than I thought. It’s been 10 months, now. (The guy hasn’t got his taste back properly, and says the sky looks pinker than it should.) The waves of exhaustion come and go, with joint pain popping up in odd places–a ghost in the machine–and shrouding sensations that make me doubt my nose and my playlists.
Sometimes my most beloved songs seem flat, the blues going gray.
I took a break from the sniff tests for a few months, nervous that my receptors were too scarred to function properly. I’ve found comfort in my old favorites–Tank Battle has been a constant through this two-steps-forward-one-step-back recovery–spraying more, pressing my nose deeper into my skin, rejoicing at the familiar notes in the muted performance. Not all have stayed the same, though.
Poe’s Tobacco–which used to be an autumn go-to, with apples and amber and tea–now seems more summery, orchard blossoms and sun in trees, and maybe some jasmine I wasn’t aware of before. The tobac still gives it depth, but the woods lean more floral now, and less toward books in shadowy corners. I’m sad about it, that the niche-but-accessible cleverness has worn off.
A nice, easy to find vintage–but not quite as offbeat and fun as I remember. I hope it’s just me.
Orange flour water. Seriously, this stuff has a weird dusty bread dough thing going on. The bottle says Oolong Tea, Bamboo Reed, Orchid & Air (whut?) and White Musk, but I get sweet uncooked enriched buns, with that puff of powdery steam when you punch the rise down.
Doesn’t last or project much. Leaves a smudge of sugary floral musk on the skin for a few hours, but that’s all. A good gift for home cooks.
If leather grew on trees, with patent leaves on on suede stems– This is the finest full grain, sultry green, almost pulpy, tanned by smoke bark plants and orange blossom, with smooth iris and ginger underneath.
Both animalic and verdant, yet also clean and polished. I really like it. Lasts half the day a few inches off the skin, and turns all clothing to mossy nubuck hide for a week.
A jasmine bomb with a 2 mile blast radius. Pull the candy orange peel pin and white flowers go nuclear, a dense gardenia fog with ambery woods fallout underneath, that flattens every other scent in the vicinity.
Brilliant and a little frightening. Wear in winter with an open carry permit.
A fun and inexpensive vampy amber floral– I love the big citrus champagne opening, fresh and flirty, though I wish it lasted longer before dissolving into the pink flowers. The vanilla at the bottom stays close to the skin for most of the day, with faint patchi amber an inch above.
There’s a joyful retro feel that makes me think of secondhand shoppes that cater to drag royalty and couture collectors, and sell Pop Rocks and Lemonhead candy at the register.
A deceptively simple blend of pretty and sexy. The jasmine on top is almost sugary, as if there’s a bit of grape Kool-aid wisteria mixed in. The amber gives it an edge, both clarifying it and making it sexy, like water splashing on a white shirt to make it see through. Lasts for days, with sweet woods on the clothes until a hot setting wash.
A small bottle is a safe blind-buy, though the large one is gorgeous.
I’m still feeling the loss of Thierry Mugler. His photography–that juxtaposed bright colors and played with architectural perspectives and environment–was amazing and ground breaking.
Mint chocolate patchouli, camphor cool and creamy, with black coffee on the side. Lasts an eternity.
Incredibly dynamic, constantly shifting from dark to bright, sugary to herbal, soft to sharp–and there’s something aggressive about the performance, the way it fills the room and takes up space. A*Men is definitely a manspreader, but gets away with it by being sweet and fun.
“I think beauty is the human emotional vehicle between us and it’s very important.” – Manfred Thierry Mugler
The world has lost some sparkle today, and I imagine the angels and the aliens fighting for the honor of carrying him upward.
Mugler was an incredible fashion designer, responsible for so many history making outfits–Demi Moore’s Indecent Proposal dress, Kim Kardashian’s wet Met Gala number, David Bowie’s neon green suit, Cardi B’s Venus dress–and sooo many more, all bold, creative, sometimes divisive, and always attention getting, just like his perfumes.
He was a visionary and an activist, ignoring gender rules, racial bias and body shape stereotypes, making luxury fashion inclusive and exciting to all, and in the case of his fragrances, accessibly priced and environmentally conscious.
Rest in Parfum, sir, and thank you for all the beauty you have given us.
George Micheal’s 1992 Too Funky video was set in a fictional Mugler runway show.